The Medieval Chantry Chapel: An Archaeology

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Boydell Press, 2007 - Art - 189 pages
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The chantry -- a special, often private, chapel within a church dedicated to a particular benefactor or benefactor's family, where prayers for the benefactor's soul were said -- was probably the most common, and also one of the most distinctive, of all late medieval religious foundations. These structures, although much altered with time, are still a very noticeable feature of many late medieval parish churches. However, no systematic, thorough or comparative examination has been undertaken to discover what they may reveal about contemporary devotion, aspiration and planning. This is a void which this book seeks to fill. It shows how the use of archaeological approaches can illuminate aspects of medieval religious practice only hinted at in many historical documents; it also demonstrates how the structural and spatial analysis of former chantry chapels can shed light on the level of private and communal piety and reveal a wider, more universal, context to chantry foundation in the medieval parish church. In addition, it discusses how various personal strategies for intercession shaped both chapel space and fabric, and the ultimate effects of the Reformation on such structures. Includes a selected gazetteer of chantry chapels. Dr SIMON ROFFEY teaches in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Winchester.
  

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Contents

Medieval visions of the afterlife
11
Early origins and influences on later
18
Sources and approaches
31
Form and fabric
42
The social and religious context of chantry chapels in
81
The reformation of chantry chapels
127
Stoke Charity Bridgwater and Mere
140
Conclusions
157
Glossary
164
Bibliography
178
Index
185
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